Idealab Sets Up Domain Registration Business
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Looks like idealab, the California investment firm, is doing an end-run around ICANN, the Internet governance board.
Idealab today officially launched New.Net. It's a start-up domain registration business, which is charging $25 per year for new Internet addresses using 20 new extensions including .xxx, .kids, and .mp3.
New.Net is not in any way authorized or accredited by ICANN. In fact, according to CEO Dave Hernand, the company launched its service in part out of frustration at the slowness of ICANN's roll-out of new TLDs. But Hernand insists that New.Net is not out to undermine ICANN's authority.
To visit sites registered by New.Net, Internet users need one of two things. Either their ISP must support the New.Net DNS extensions, or the user must be running a special browser plug-in created by New.Net.
Behind the scenes, New.Net's directory servers are operated by UltraDNS Corp of San Mateo California. The company has also partnered with mp3.com which will market the .mp3 domain suffix to its member musicians.
New.net is taking registrations now. While it's taking ICANN out of the loop, the company did say it will use ICANN's uniform dispute resolutions policy to settle disputes over ownership of the top-level domains it registerts.
Separately, ICANN has confirmed that the launch of seven new TLDs has been delayed by protracted contract negotiations.
ICANN has said it hoped the new domains, including dot biz and dot info, would go live by July, but now its looking more like it won't be until the end of the year that these new registries are up and running.